Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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How to manage Air Hunger problem

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by prioris, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. prioris

    prioris Senior Member

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    I think I figured out how to manage the Air Hunger problem.

    For those that don't have the problem, it is an inability to get oxygen into the blood stream with a deep breath. This occurs at rest or sleeping. It is a constant problem every day.

    I think the root problem is that the blood becomes too acidic hence it can't either absorb oxygen or unable to release carbon dioxide. I notice the problem becomes worse when I eat protein.

    The solution is to alkalize the blood by eating an alkaline food. The blood responds pretty quickly after the food is eaten so you can do a lot of experiments in a short time. Try eating some protein and see if the air hunger symptoms worsen. I would give whatever you eat time to digest before trying another experiment.

    Some alkanizing foods are Tomato (maybe have some tomato soup), spinach, lemon

    Here is one link to a guide to some acidic, neutral and alkaline foods.
    http://www.ctds.info/acidic-foods.html

    There have been studies on yawning that say yawning has nothing to do with the respiration. I think those are wrong. Many animals yawn. I think it is the body wanting oxygen. While your having air hunger problems, try yawning and then taking a deep breath. I have noticed that I am able to take a deep breath of air that oxygenates my blood. Maybe the yawning is expelling carbon dioxide making room for oxygen. Not sure.

    Btw I tried the Betaine HCL but didn't help.

    Please experiment with this and give me some feed back in what your response was to the alkaline and acidic foods.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
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  2. erin

    erin Senior Member

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    I have this problem too. Especially at night. It makes me feel panicky, horrible.
     
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  3. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    Dear prioris,
    I am afraid I don't think any of this is right.

    Air hunger is the technical term for increased respiration rate and depth due to stimulation by increased carbon dioxide levels in the context of metabolic acidosis - as in renal failure for instance. So yes, it has to do with low blood pH but has nothing to do with oxygen as far as I know.

    Alkalinisation might make sense but in fact in most situations where there is enough metabolic acidosis to cause air hunger the right thing is to get emergency medical help and eating alkalis is not likely to be the treatment prescribed.

    I do not see how lemon can be an alkalinising food when lemons are about the most acid food there is - that is why they taste so sour (sour=acid). The webpage you quote looks to me to be something someone has made up off the top of their head. Corn appears under two different categories and fruit under alkali when most fruit are acid. Most mineral water has carbon dioxide in it so is acid. Betaine HCl is deliberately supposed to be an acid supplement so it seems the opposite of what would help air hunger.
     
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  4. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    Buteyko breathing method (reduced breathing) has helped me a lot with breathing at night (I wake up breathless and/or stop breathing). Also, my stuffy nose (for which I used nasal spray every night for the last10 years) is gone. As long as I tape my mouth shut so that my mouth doesn't fall open and I overbreathe through my mouth, I no longer need nasal spray. I learned Buteyko/reduced breathing from a book called "Close Your Mouth."

    For a lot of us, it seems that not enough carbon dioxide is the problem. We typically overbreathe so that our nervous system is set to expect more oxygen than we can provide for it.

    Deliberate reduced breathing produces air hunger at first, and can be very anxiety provoking. It did induce an almost panicky feeling in the beginning. It's hard to do at first, and requires discipline. But if you try it, the first time you feel your nasal passages clear naturally (that wonderful "ahhhhhh" feeling) and your breathing calm down on it's own after you've been feeling the air hunger is a revelation.

    Please don't challenge me on this or expect me to "prove" it. I don't have time, inclination, or brain power right now. I'm living it and I'm satisfied with that. I mention it in case it gives others food for thought or soemthing else to try that might help. So take my statements for whatever they're worth. If you're interested, the book I mentioned is available via Amazon in hard-copy or Kindle. It provides compelling evidence and arguments for reduced breathing and the wrong balance of CO2 and O2 in our blood stream causing a lot of breathing problems for a lot of people.
     
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  5. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    It isn't possible to change the acidity of your blood based on eating "alkaline" foods. This is quackery which has already been thoroughly debunked.
     
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  6. prioris

    prioris Senior Member

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    I am only attempting an explanation. If it does work for people then we can hypothesize why it is later but for now, focus on the practical.

    The post is more focused on experimenting with my practical suggestions and seeing the empirical results on your air hunger problem.

    yes, lemon is acidic but is considered alkaline. so is ACV but that is suppose to alkalize the blood too. the ash left behind determines the PH level and affect on the blood. not how acidic the food is.

    Here is an excerpt about about blood PH

    Dr. Paul Cheney recently began prescribing oxygen for patients with alkaline venus blood. Up to an hour of oxygen in the morning can provide half a day of significant improvement and numerous benefits. He has been seeing alkaline blood results in patients for years, but dismissed it as insignificant, based on his medical school training. His growing suspicion that it was a very significant factor was confirmed when a speaker at an international conference on fatigue in London began a presentation by announcing "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to tell you that CFS patients are alkalotic."

    Blood alkalosis inhibits the transport of oxygen to tissues and organs, constricts the blood vessels, and lowers overall circulating blood volume.

    please give feedback on your result. you can monitor your eating and see what you notice upon eating various food types classified. This is about looking for patterns in foods and how it affects the Air Hunger problem.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
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  7. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    The problem is, @prioris, that you are trying to use scientific jargon but are contradicting yourself in almost every sentence. There is no way to tell if eating these foods has an effect on pH unless you do an arterial stab and measure blood pH. People with ME do not have air hunger from metabolic acidosis. It is perfectly possible that eating lemons might make your breathing feel more comfortable but there is no reason to think it has anything to do with upside down chemistry.
     
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  8. prioris

    prioris Senior Member

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    I'm aware that there are contradictions. The entire acid-alkaline subject is filled with seeming contradictions. It is just about making people aware of the blood and tissue (also related to capillaries) PH problems for ME/CFIDS people and that it may ball park on generally why there is air hunger.

    Unless you hold the solution on how to manage the air hunger problem daily, what you say is moot. I had to suffer with it every day. I can now do something about it especially short term with minimal effort with just eating a different food. For people who don't have the chronic problem, they can just move on to a different topic.

    There has been really a dearth of solutions for it for decades. Nor has there been any ball park explanation. This is a widespread problem among people with ME/CFIDS.

    This is about coming up with practical solutions to manage it. Not resolving the scientific explanation. So I asked people to experiment with it and give feed back. This information may give someone more control over their air hunger problem that they didn't have before hence improve the quality of their daily life.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  9. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    I absolutely agree it is about practical solutions and nothing to do with acids or alkalis or any other scientific or not so scientific explanations. I don't think there is anything much moot about what is acid and what is alkaline - but I think it has nothing to do with breathing in ME/CFS.
     
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  10. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member

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    I've wondered if there could be some connection between the "air hunger" that some ME/CFS patients experience and the mechanism of central sleep apnea. My understanding is that in central sleep apnea the brain fails to respond appropriately to rising levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. This can lead some people to periodically cease breathing altogether during sleep. At some point, a threshold is reached and the sleeper then begins to breathe again, very deeply. As I recall, the subsequent over-saturation of oxygen in the blood then contributes to the start of the next cycle of breathing cessation. It seems to be a kind of viscous cycle once it begins.

    I had a few episodes of idiopathic central sleep apnea during a sleep test, but was told that there was nothing to be done for it. [It can, however, be a consequence of a serious condition like congestive heart failure.]

    What I wonder is whether something similar could happen while a person is awake. Feeling like I was "forgetting to breathe" was one of the weirder symptoms I experienced in the first few weeks of ME. My "air hunger" went away, but I wonder if some kind of an autonomic error, similar to central sleep apnea, could be occurring in some waking ME/CFS patients, causing them to cycle between shallow breathing and "air hunger."
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
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  11. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Let me remind people, that like "fatigue" air hunger as described by patients is a sensation. Loss of blood oxygenation capacity, such as by metabolic acidosis, creates this sensation but we have no way of knowing how many other conditions do so.

    I think much of medicine, and also patient commentaries, have taken a wrong turn. Many psych disorders are heterogeneous, but related by a common symptom.

    CFS is similar, especially under the weak definitions and with doctors who do not use definitions. One symptom = CFS? I think not. Try finding the common cause.

    Cancer used to be the same. Now we do genetic typing of cancers to get really specific.

    ME is probably two different diseases, maybe more.

    One common cause, one common diagnosis, one common cure are dangerous concepts when the condition is badly defined or understood.
     
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  12. prioris

    prioris Senior Member

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    I have done a survey of lung related problems and I can't find anything that matches Air Hunger problem found in ME/CFIDS except maybe death bed respiration or maybe acidosis.

    The respiratory portion is composed of the nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles.

    There is nothing wrong with these. There is no mucous or inflammation obstructing air..

    People who experience anxiety will have air hunger problems but they may be temporal. This is no anxiety problem either.

    The respiratory airways, which facilitate gas exchange. These are located entirely within the lung and are represented by respiratory bronchioles, alveolar ducts, alveolar sacs, and alveoli.

    The problem is somewhere between the alveol/aviolar segments and artery/veins/blood/capillaries.

    People with COPD have problems with avioli and COPD is way different from COPD so the problem is likely in the other parts.

    It is no mere sensation either. It requires absolutely no physical exertion to experience it. It can be experienced at rest. The air is getting there but oxygen / carbon dioxide exchange with blood just isn't working. I don't know why. When I eat a heavy protein meal, the air hunger problem gets worse. If I eat some tomato soup it gets better. Possibly the "ash" that each food leaves behind affects something. That's all I can think of for now. When I yawn, the air hunger problem lessens and I am able to get a deep breath. These are just my empirical observations as someone who has the air hunger problem. This is evidence to me that the problem is somewhere with the interfaces between the capillary/artery/veins/blood/oxygen/carbondioxide area that interfaces with the avioli.

    Down the road, ME/CFIDS will be anointed as related to brain inflammation and or brain swelling with major symptom being cognitive dysfunction and a large number of secondary conditions. Anything not that will mean the person got misdiagnosed. Behind the scenes, they already know what this disease is and what causes it but that is hidden behind secrecy. I'm not holding my breath for their official announcement.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
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  13. roller

    roller wiggle jiggle

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    i never get enough oxygene when breathing, and stupidly im holding my breath in between.
    its short shallow breathing, then some sigh...
    this whole thing also leads to a strange way of speaking.

    there is a strong tension in my belly 'muscles' and somehow i seem to keep it tense with the breathing...?
    or i cant breath because its tense. seems so.
     
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  14. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    The best known example of cyclical deep and shallow breathing is Cheyne-Stokes respiration, which as you say can occur with heart failure. My father had it when he was otherwise fully awake and alert and it turned out probably to be due to irritation of his vagus nerve. I suspect that the air hunger symptoms people describe here may well be due to shifts in central control mechanisms in the autonomic system.
     
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  15. erin

    erin Senior Member

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    You've articulated so accurate. I feel exactly the same way. Constant discomfort.
     
  16. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    This is not correct for a great many of us. There is constriction and mucus in combination, plus for some of us there are lung issues. The problem is this has never been the focus of a large well conducted study in ME ... oh, wait, there are no finished large well conducted studies in ME. We are waiting for the large studies underway right now to complete.

    Autonomic dysfunction is probably related.

    My best guess of the most probable cause for the most people is autonomic failure, probably in vascular regulation.

    Even with oxygen, adequate oxygen, some of us react badly to more oxygen. There is something wrong with respiration in ME right down at the mitochondrial level, though the cause could easily be neurological or vascular. It is also persistent in tissue outside the body, grown in nutrient solution.

    More and more evidence is now pointing at vascular issues, but there is nothing definitive anywhere.

    Metabolic acidosis takes time to occur, and time to reverse. Its about molecular changes within the red blood cells, key metabolism in oxygen storage is very pH sensitive. The short term and long term changes are important.

    For example, acid INCREASES oxygen transfer initially. Its the longer term reduction in capacity due to prolonged alteration of pH that does the damage. So acid can decrease oxygen capacity in the long term. Thus increased lactic acid, as found in ME, can increase oxygen transfer for minutes to hours, but also over time decreases total capacity.

    Alkali does the reverse. In the short term it decreases oxygen transfer, but the longer term it increases oxygen transfer due to molecular changes. I am sure there is a limit to this though, as highly alkaline blood will probably do similar damage to critical pathways.
     
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  17. prioris

    prioris Senior Member

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    Not many people talk about this. One's communication skills gets greatly affected. It makes it more difficult to talk. Talking takes a lot of physical effort so ones voice is more strained and out of breath speaking because of it. Of course the cognitive dysfunction doesn't help either with word searching and articulation. My articulation would be at a very high level without these problems. Thankfully I just have to type.
     
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  18. prioris

    prioris Senior Member

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    Given all the secondary problems, I would expect that mucus would be an issue with some. BUT, even if the mucus problem went away, air hunger would still be a problem. The mucous issue has to be dealt with separately as another issue. I can have slight cough when I breath through my trachea but I know it doesn't impede air from getting deep in my lungs. That is separate issue. The problem lies at a deeper level. I don't want to get too deep unless it leads to practical ways for us to manage this symptom enough. Unless someone has taken a mitochondrial or vascular supplement and found it leads to resolution or control of air hunger problem, it is too moot to talk about it. It's about finding practical things that can be done about it and not going any deeper than the remedy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  19. shannah

    shannah Senior Member

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    @prioris

    Many in the Lyme community talk about air hunger. If I remember correctly, they seem to tie it to Babesia.

    Perhaps you'd find more information on one of the Lyme forums such as www.lymenet.org.
     
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  20. prioris

    prioris Senior Member

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    In Sleep apnea, breathing repeatedly stops and starts.

    In Air Hunger, the breathing doesn't stop. The oxygen just isn't transfering to the body even when breathing. So never found any connection with sleep apnea. They are two pretty distinct conditions. When one gets into sleep issues, spiritual issues can complicate things.
     

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